Orange you glad it will soon be National Garden Day?

Gardens Canada is inviting everyone to ‘Live the Garden Life’ and Plant Orange in 2024, with the theme serving as a tribute to Canada’s Indigenous communities.

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Sunday, June 16 is National Garden Day, a time for Canadians to get outdoors and live the garden life. 

National Garden Day is the culmination of the month-long Garden Days promotion which kicked off May 18, presented by Gardens Canada.

Garden Days events have been taking place across the country over the past four weeks, including tours of botanical gardens and displays by horticulture societies. Just a few examples of scheduled events included the opening of the Garden of Healing, with free Zumba in the Park, at the Assiniboine Park Conservancy in Manitoba; The Sicamous Farmers’ Market, in Sicamous, B.C., has been celebrating local agriculture, artists and artisans at its Friday markets and Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens in Nova Scotia — rated one of “Canada’s Top Ten Gardens Worth Travelling For” at the 2023 International Garden Tourism Conference — hosts a Garden Days celebration on June 15. 

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Vivian Shum, executive director of Gardens Canada, also known as the Canadian Garden Council, says the non-profit organization aims to inspire and educate Canadians about the numerous health, economic and environmental advantages that gardens offer.

“This year, we are celebrating our 10th anniversary. Our mission is to highlight the country’s garden destinations through various initiatives, including the 2024 theme: ‘Live the Garden Life. Experience Canada’s Garden Destinations.’” 

Orange tulips at the Royal Botanical Gardens
There are numerous ways to introduce the vibrant hue of orange into your landscape, including tulips, lilies, marigolds, roses and petunias. SUPPLIED

One way to celebrate Garden Days is to answer the call to “Plant Orange,” says Shum.

“Communities in Bloom has extended an invitation for everyone to plant orange as a tribute to our Indigenous communities. This initiative resonates deeply with the theme of ‘Plants Love You,’ as it highlights the interconnectedness between nature and culture.” 

Shum says there are numerous ways to incorporate the vibrant hue of orange into your gardening projects.

“You can introduce a variety of orange flowers into your garden beds or containers for a burst of colour, or incorporate orange foliage accents to diversify textures and hues into your landscape. You can also grow orange-hued fruits and vegetables to add visual interest. The best part is that you even get to enjoy the delicious bounty of your labour.” 

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Orange flowers that grow well in our region include petunias, lilies, roses, coneflowers, impatiens, marigolds, tulips, verbena, lantana, portulaca and more. Don’t forget to add carrots, peppers and pumpkins to your veggie patch. 

Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens in Nova Scotia
The Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens in Nova Scotia was ranked among “Canada’s Top 10 Gardens Worth Travelling For” at the 2023 International Garden Tourism Conference. Photo by Trish Fry /SUPPLIED
Kinsbrae Garden in New Brunswick
Kingsbrae Garden is an award-winning 27-acre horticultural masterpiece located in St. Andrews, New Brunswick. SUPPLIED

Garden Days is also an invitation to explore Canada’s many garden destinations, here at home or while vacationing.

“Whether it’s visiting a botanical garden, strolling through a community park or touring a private garden estate, immersing yourself in the beauty of these locations is a fantastic way to celebrate,” says Shum. 

You can discover a diverse variety of garden experiences by checking out Canada’s Garden Route on the Gardens Canada website at livethegardenlife.gardenscanada.ca.

“Our country boasts an abundance of extraordinary gardens, each with its own unique story, character and charm. From the lush botanical gardens in British Columbia, to the historic sites of Quebec, and from the vibrant floral displays of Ontario to the serene landscapes of the Maritimes, there are numerous captivating destinations waiting to be explored,” says Shum. 

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In Saskatoon, you can make the most of Garden Days by visiting such destinations as the Forestry Farm Park, including its heritage rose garden, the Robin Smith meditation garden and the popular Prairie Butterfly House; the Garden Park at Innovation Place, featuring perennial beds, ponds with native and exotic water lilies and lotus varieties, as well as a Japanese dry garden; the Meewasin Trail, which extends throughout the downtown river valley; and the Beaver Creek Conservation Area, where you can join a guided wildflower walk on Fridays and Saturdays.

A one-hour drive from Saskatoon is the Batoche National Historic Site, featuring beautiful hybrid and heritage plants. The Motherwell Homestead National Historic Site in Abernathy provides insight into the agriculture practices of early settlers, with gardens featuring heirloom fruits and vegetables. 

The Saskatchewan Horticultural Association will host its annual Garden Tour of Northeastern Saskatchewan on July 26-28, offering participants the opportunity to explore private gardens, a Haskap berry farm, a honeybee farm and a Hutterite colony. The bus tour will journey to Star City, Tisdale, Ridgedale, Carrot River, Nipawin and White Fox. Those on board are invited to bring coolers that can be filled with local food finds. 

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The Butchart Gardens
Butchart Gardens, located near Victoria, B.C., is one of the Canada’s most iconic garden destinations. SUPPLIED

“Live the garden life,” urges Shum. “Get out, explore and enjoy Canada’s beautiful gardens and garden experiences. Discover gardens close to home or as travel destinations on your next adventure.” 

To learn more about the Canadian Garden Council’s programs, including National Garden Day events and activities, visit livethegardenlife.gardenscanada.ca. 

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